Holy Badman: The Invasion of Privacy

Privacy these days... is there really such a thing? Even if you're not always in the public eye, like a government official or a celebrity, your privacy may not be as private as you think.

What is the Invasion of Privacy?

Legally, the term invasion of privacy refers to a person's right to keep his or her life "private" and out of the "intrusion of others." An invasion of privacy legally occurs when private aspects of your life are made public. This is mostly used for celebrities who are constantly hounded by the media. As such, it is much more likely for a tabloid or other media outlet to face an invasion of privacy law suit than a private individual.

Is Your Privacy at Risk?

One of the biggest areas of privacy concerns is the Internet. Your computer can send and receive information about the websites you visit and your various other online activities. Depending on the website, your information may be at risk. If you are worried about your online privacy, be sure to take a close look at the privacy policies on all the websites you visit.

A website's privacy policy will clearly outline all the information the site collects, how this information is stored, and most importantly, how the information is used. If you ever find anything in a privacy policy you do not agree with, you are advised to stop using the website right away.

Reputable websites that collect your information will never sell the information to others--and much of the information collected will be used for their own marketing purposes, to provide you with better services. Remember, privacy policies can be updated at any time without notice, so check them periodically.

Concerned About Your Privacy?

If you are concerned about your privacy online, here are some things you can do:

  • Never list personal information on social media websites such as: Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. If you want to continue using these services, use a slightly different name, and a photo that does not show any identifying information.
  • Use a prepaid debit card to make your online purchases. If your product cannot be delivered to a P.O. box, invest in a box at the UPS store that will provide you with a physical address. This way your address and actual banking information are never put at risk.
  • Clear your browser history, or set your browser to never track it. This will help protect your web history from the prying eyes of anyone else who may use your computer.
  • Clear your computer's cookies. This will clear out any saved logins and previous records of visits to a website.